WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump met with his Secretary of Homeland Security and other officials on Monday to discuss border security issues when a partial government shutdown on his US-Mexican border wall occurred at Christmas time a clear solution was in sight.
Although both sides have moved the money, they do not budge on the wall. The White House insisted that Trump refuse all business that did not include money for a wall or fence. Democrats held onto a wall or other physical barrier.
"Nothing new. Nothing new when shutting down. Nothing new. Unless we need the border security. "Trump told reporters at the White House when he responded to calls from children who want to know when Santa Claus will arrive home.
In a joint statement, the Democratic leaders of Congress, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi said that as long as Trump listens to House Freedom Caucus and others on the right, there is no easy solution to the impasse.
"It's Christmas and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos," they said, pointing Problems beyond standstill, including the fall of the stock market and the dismissal of the president by his defense minister. "The president wanted the shutdown, but he does not seem to know how to get it out."
The White House offered Schumer Budget director Mick Mulvaney said on Sunday that Mulvaney would only say that the offer was between Trumps $ 5.7 billion and $ 1
A Democratic aide granted anonymity to discuss the private talks and confirmed that the White House had offered $ 2.5 billion "Slush Fund" for the President's other priorities for immigration.
Mulvaney said he was waiting for a response from Schumer. Schumers office said the parties remained "very far apart."
Trump came from the White House, where he was detained since the beginning of the closure in early Saturday.
"I'm all alone (poor, me) in The White House is waiting for the Democrats to come back and conclude a deal on much-needed border security," he tweeted. "At some point, the Democrats, who do not want to make a deal, Crazy! "
Trump had plans to bring Christmas to his Florida mansion, and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, returned home from Florida to spend the holidays
On Monday afternoon, the President's border security meeting was also attended by Homeland Security Minister Kirstjen Nielsen and other department officials, Sarah White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The House and Senate plunged into the meeting just before Christmas Eve before being shut down without further action.
In their statement, Pelosi and Schumer said that "different people from the same White House say different things about what the President would accept or not accept, that he should end his Trump shutdown, so it's impossible to know where they are
Trump accused the Democrats of stalemating and tweeted on Monday that "virtually every Democrat we deal with today strongly supported a boundary wall or fence, only when I made it an important part of my Campaign, because people and drugs were pouring freely into our country, they turned against it – desperately needed! "
However, an AP fact check revealed that US arrests on the Mexican border in November increased by 78 percent had risen to the highest level in Trump's presidency the year before, and growing arrests suggest that more and more mens try to cross the border illegally.
Several Cabinet Departments and agencies have been closed since Saturday after their funding expired. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers across the country were hit by the closure, which is expected to last at least until Thursday, when House and Senate meet again.
Mulvaney predicted that the closure could take until January if the Democrats took control of The House.
Trump apologized to the federal employees on Monday, and Christmas is a federal holiday. This means that Wednesday is the first day that the public can feel the effects of lost government services, Mulvaney said.
In the meantime, 800,000 workers in the state were about to be disturbed.
More than half of the employees considered necessary, including US intelligence and transport security agencies, have to work without pay, although a retroactive payment is expected. Another 380,000 should be dismissed, which means they will not report at work but will be paid later. The legislation was expected to ensure that workers receive a reimbursement claim.
Trump pledged to build a border wall during the campaign and force Mexico to pay for it. Mexico has refused.
The progress in funding the Wall has been slow, and Trump sees the last days of full control of the GOP by Congress as his last chance to force the issue. However, some Republicans also reject the construction of a wall.